Lachlan Lam concedes Leigh Leopards left ‘gutted’ by losing home advantage, but says they’re prepared for ‘do or die’ play-off clash at Hull KR tonight

Ben Olawumi
Lachlan Lam Leigh Leopards

Lachlan Lam in action for Leigh Leopards - Alamy

Leigh Leopards ace Lachlan Lam admits that he and his teammates were left ‘gutted’ when they discovered they’d lost home advantage for tonight’s big play-off clash with Hull KR, but says they’re now ready for a ‘do or die’ clash at Craven Park.

Lam and co. are no strangers to East Hull or their opponents, they’ve squared off three times already in Super League with two of those coming away from home. Most memorably though, back in August, the two sides also met in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

For the first time ever, a Challenge Cup final went all the way to golden point extra time, and it was Lance Todd Trophy winner Lam who kicked the winning one-pointer. Sealing a 17-16 win, the Papua New Guinea international gave the town of Leigh a first Challenge Cup triumph in 52 years, a town he has grown to love over the last 18 months since dad Adrian brought him to the club.

Now, he and the Leythers head into a first-ever Super League play-off game, knowing that victory against a now much-favoured KR side on home soil would leave them just 80 minutes away from a mesmerising Old Trafford appearance on October 14.

Lachlan Lam discusses tonight’s play-off showdown at Hull KR

Half-back Lam – who got nine tries and 21 assists in the regular season – was named in the Super League Dream Team alongside four teammates, 20 years after dad Adrian was last selected in the ‘best of’ side.

In an exclusive interview with Love Rugby League at Monday’s launch event, the 25-year-old said: “We were all gutted, there’s no hiding that, it’s definitely not the same task as it would have been at the Sports Village, but it’s do or die.

“We don’t really have a chance to think about what kind of challenge it is, we’ve just got to play it like it’s our last game.

“They’ve all been very tough games against them, there’s been two really close ones and two decently big margins between us in games, so if you think about it all together then it’s pretty close.

“We know what kind of team they are, and it’s going to take a good performance from us to get the job done on Friday.”

Leigh Leopards ace says Craven Park blues have been put to bed

Challenge Cup victory aside, the Leopards are up 2-1 in Super League games against the Robins this year. Craven Park was where they got their first win of the season in Round 3 back in March, with a late Josh Charnley try earning them the two competition points with a 30-25 margin.

KR then made the trip to the Leigh Sports Village in June, and were blown away by the Leopards, who ran out 34-4 winners that night.

But more recently, just over a month ago, Willie Peters’ men hammered Leigh 52-10 in East Hull, the start of a five-game winning run at the end of the year which propelled them into that 4th spot and earned home advantage tonight. Lam and the Leythers in contrast lost four of their last six, but that last trip to Craven Park is now behind them, insists their star playmaker.

He continued: “It’s just about us being us. When we turned up there last time, we didn’t get it right. Our head space wasn’t quite there, and they had a point to prove from the Challenge Cup final.

We missed the jump a bit there, and it’s obviously something we’re trying to reflect and improve on coming into this game.”

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